Most internet services you use these days require you to set up 2FA (two-factor authentication) on your accounts to protect them. Although different services offer different ways to enable 2FA, the phone number remains a standard option across all of them—and also a common choice among many people.

auto-delete otp messages on android using google messages
IMAGE: NordWood Themes (Unsplash)

When you enable two-factor authentication with your phone number, you automatically receive a one-time password (OTP) whenever you log in to your account or carry out a bank transaction (in the case of a banking service). This OTP is valid only for one login session or transaction and becomes unusable afterward.

As a result, if you perform multiple logins or transactions across your accounts in a day, you end up with an umpteen number of OTPs in your messages app, sometimes making it difficult to find important messages.

Google Messages has a solution to this problem that automatically deletes OTPs after 24 hours. Follow along as we break down the instructions to use the auto-delete OTPs feature in Google Messages on your Android smartphone.

What Is the Auto-Delete OTPs Feature in Google Messages?

Auto-delete OTPs is a Google Messages feature. It works by identifying OTP messages in your inbox and automatically deletes them 24 hours from their receipt, so you no longer have to deal with a cluttered inbox or delete those messages yourself.

How to Enable Auto-Delete OTPs in Google Messages

As we mentioned earlier, the Auto-delete feature is limited only to the Google Messages app. Google Messages or Android Messages comes pre-installed on Google’s Pixel devices as well as many other Android smartphones.

However, in case your device doesn’t come with the Messages app pre-installed, click on the link below to download Messages from the Play Store.

Download: Google Messages

When you install the Messages app on a phone that doesn’t have it pre-installed, you’ll be prompted to set it as the default messaging app. Click on the appropriate option in this suggestion prompt to use Messages as your default SMS client.

Finally, follow the steps below to auto-delete OTP messages on Android:

  1. Open Messages on your Android phone.
  2. Click on the three-dot menu in the top-right corner of the search box and choose Settings.
    google messages settings
  3. Scroll through the settings and select Message organization.
    message organization in google messages
  4. If the Auto-delete OTPs after 24 hours option is greyed out, toggle on the switch for View messages by category to enable it. Else, skip this step.
    google messages view messages by category option
  5. Lastly, toggle on the switch for Auto-delete OTPs after 24 hours to set up OTP deletion in Google Messages.

    enabling auto-delete otps in google messages

As soon as you enable the auto-delete OTPs option, all the existing OTPs in your inbox, which are older than 24 hours, will automatically get deleted. Similarly, all the new OTPs you receive going forward will also be permanently deleted from your inbox after 24 hours.

Don’t Let Your Inbox Fill Up With OTPs Again

Using your phone number is an effective way to implement 2FA on your accounts and secure them from unauthorized access. However, since the OTPs you receive on your phone are valid only for a few minutes, having them in your inbox past their validity is pointless and clutters your inbox.

Installing Google Messages on your Android and enabling the auto-delete OTPs feature, as shown in the guide above, can solve this problem and keep your inbox tidy.

Alternatively, you can switch to other 2FA methods, like using a dedicated 2FA generator app—to secure your online accounts.

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